Sinovac Vaccine Recipients Still Have To Undergo Pre-Event Testing As Jab Is Not Under National Programme
Though the Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna vaccines are available to Singapore residents for free, the Sinovac option is popular amongst some residents.
Tampines Clinic Sees Hundreds Queue For Sinovac Vaccine, Police Disperse Crowds
However, on Wednesday (30 Jun), the Ministry of Health (MOH) clarified that those injected with the Sinovac vaccine will still have to undergo pre-event testing.
This is apparently due to the lack of evidence on how effective the vaccine is, especially against more infectious variants like the Delta variant.
Sinovac recipients not exempted from pre-event testing
Those who received vaccines that are not under Singapore’s national vaccination programme, such as Sinovac, will not be exempted from pre-event testing.
According to The Straits Times (ST), MOH believes there isn’t sufficient documentation of these vaccines’ effectiveness against Covid-19 infections.
This is an area of concern especially when it comes to the more infectious Delta variant circulating within our community.
Testing required for live performances and solemnisation
It was back in March when authorities said fully-vaccinated individuals are exempted from pre-event testing.
Such testing requirements were required for mass events like live performances and wedding solemnisation.
Currently, only Pfizer-BioNtech/Comirnaty and Moderna vaccines are under our national programme.
Overwhelming response to Sinovac vaccine
Since 18 Jun, 24 private clinics have been allowed to administer Sinovac vaccines.
Even though there might be insufficient documentation proving its effectiveness at preventing Covid-19 infections, the response to its availability has been overwhelming.
For 2 weeks, these clinics have been bombarded with calls and requests from residents wanting to get the vaccine, reported ST.
Many also rushed to get on the waitlist. In some cases, long lines were seen outside clinics even before they open.
The Sinovac vaccine was made available to Singapore residents under the Special Access Route (SAR). However, it is not registered or authorised by the Health Sciences Authority (HSA).
Still a valuable alternative
The Sinovac jab serves as a valuable alternative for those unable to receive mRNA vaccines or do not feel comfortable doing so.
However, we hope recipients would be aware of the limitations associated with the Sinovac vaccine before heading down to get inoculated.
Meanwhile, we hope the required documentation for the Sinovac vaccine will be in place soon.
That way, recipients can enjoy the same privileges enjoyed by those who received Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna vaccines.
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Featured image adapted from Raffles Medical Group and Ong Ye Kung on Facebook.
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